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SNL's Cecily Strong reprises Whitmer role for vaccine game show sketch

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

"Saturday Night Live" cast member Cecily Strong reprised her impersonation of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Saturday in a sketch featuring "famous governors" awarding COVID-19 vaccine doses via game show.

The sketch, which was the cold open in an episode featuring Nick Jonas as host and musical guest, has Kate McKinnon playing Dr. Anthony Fauci as he hosts parody game show "So You Think You Can Get the Vaccine."

"Getting the vaccine shouldn't be a competition, but Americans will only want to get it if it means someone else can't," McKinnon's Fauci jokes.

Cecily Strong plays Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on "Saturday Night Live," February 27, 2021.

A group of "contestants" seeking the vaccine appears before a panel of U.S. governors, including Alex Moffat as California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Pete Davidson as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Strong as Whitmer. The sketch pokes fun at the way the vaccine is being distributed in the U.S., controversies surrounding Newsom and Cuomo, and an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer.

"Our next judge narrowly escaped being kidnapped by a group of men whose fingerprints probably had Cheetos' dust on them," McKinnon's Fauci says by way of introduction for Whitmer, a reference to the alleged plot.

"It's an honor to be here with my fellow governors," Strong's Whitmer says. "People yell at them about their policies and they yell at me, 'Get her!"

"But hey, that's life," she says as she takes a big swig of what appears to be a Bell's Oberon Ale.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

The beer may have been a call back to a previous, online-only sketch featuring Whitmer. Last April, Strong portrayed the governor drinking a Labatt Blue beer on her deck. The governor later responded by joking that the sketch "got the beer wrong" and followed up by sending Strong a care package of Comstock-based Bell's Brewery beers.

SNL's Cecily Strong portrays Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a parody.

Saturday's game show sketch also portrayed a Michigan resident — cast member Heidi Gardner clad in a University of Michigan sweatshirt — trying to get a dose of the vaccine.

"Nice to see a fellow Michigander," Strong tells her.

"I actually voted for you," Gardner says. "I voted for you to get kidnapped."

"I'll take it," Strong's Whitmer replies.


Twitter: @JGrzelewski